The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the event that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. In John 20:19-23, we see Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection. This encounter is a powerful reminder that Jesus is alive and that his message of peace, forgiveness, and salvation is still relevant today.
The Resurrected Jesus Appears
The passage begins with the disciples hiding behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders who had crucified Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus appears in their midst, saying, "Peace be with you." This greeting is not just a simple greeting; it is a message of hope and reassurance. Jesus is telling his disciples that he is alive and that they have nothing to fear.
A Message of Peace and Forgiveness
Jesus then shows his disciples his wounds, proving that he is indeed the same Jesus who was crucified. He then repeats his message of peace, saying, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." This is a commissioning statement, telling the disciples that they are to go forth and spread the message of peace and forgiveness that Jesus has brought to the world.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus then breathes on his disciples and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." This is a powerful moment because it is the moment when the disciples receive the Holy Spirit, which will empower them to go forth and do the work that Jesus has commissioned them to do. The Holy Spirit is the source of their strength and the power that will enable them to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Commissioned to Go Forth
Finally, Jesus gives his disciples the power to forgive sins, saying, "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." This is a powerful statement because it shows that forgiveness is central to the message of Jesus Christ. It is a message that is still relevant today, as we live in a world that is full of hate, anger, and resentment. Jesus is telling us that forgiveness is the key to peace and that we should always be willing to forgive others, just as he has forgiven us.
The story of Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection is a powerful reminder of the hope and peace that we have in him. It is a reminder that he is alive and that his message of peace, forgiveness, and salvation is still relevant today. As we go forth into the world, let us remember the commission that Jesus gave to his disciples, to go forth and spread the message of peace and forgiveness to the ends of the earth. Let us also remember the power of the Holy Spirit, which empowers us to do the work that Jesus has called us to do. And let us always be willing to forgive others, just as Jesus has forgiven us.